Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13

January 13, 2010
Wow, I want to share with you what a wonderful Christmas I had. I can’t really put into words that you will believe but I will highlight a couple special moments here;
The Christmas Eve service at St. Claire’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor was just what I needed this Christmas. Beth, the priest, preached about Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem. Both Mary and Joseph needed to be in a barn with the animals far away from home to be ready to welcome Jesus. After going into some detail about what this meant near the middle of her sermon Beth asked a rhetorical question that threw me for a loop. She asked, “Where is your Bethlehem?” Where do you need to be to Welcome Jesus? She mentioned that maybe it is at work, maybe in your quiet reflective space, maybe is at your favorite rock concert… (I’m doing a terrible job of covering everything in her wonderful sermon but hopefully I’ll express what was so great for me to hear.) Anyway, she also said, “Maybe you have had to travel very far to welcome Jesus.” I lost it, the tears came flowing. Now mind you they were happy tears! I suddenly had this huge realization that I was in my Bethlehem and ready and eager to welcome Jesus back into my life. The hard work of school in Honduras became a distraction to me where life had become a whirlwind of coping mechanisms. I needed to travel a long way home to be with the people who love me and know me for who I truly am. There in that ocean of love, I could welcome Jesus, and remind myself why what I am doing here in Honduras is soooo important. Since hearing this sermon I feel as if I was a young pop-eye cartoon that suddenly ate a lot of spinach and my muscles just popped (no pun intended) out of my arms! Unfortunately my muscles haven’t actually grown as big as pop-eyes but I do have this overwhelming sense of I can do this! Six months isn’t that long and Honduras isn’t that bad! I don’t know if Beth thought she had a good sermon or not this Christmas… But I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. And, I know its after Christmas but I think its worth asking you… Where is your Bethlehem?
Ok here are some wonderful moments I had with family;
~Every single moment with my new nephew Asher was unforgettable. He looks into my eyes and gives me this little grin that just makes my heart stop. What a beautiful happy baby he is!
~One early morning in pajamas, I was laying on the couch with Dash in my arms and we sang the alphabet and the Wheels on the Bus. It was a short-lived moment, but one that I truly cherish.
~Emmanuel and I gave a drum and guitar concert for Mama Xan and Mongi. It was a very special moment for me because it felt like the first time I was actually playing with Emmanuel rather than just entertaining. I had a blast!
~Xan and Kevin took Mongi and I to a Pistons game and we had an absolute blast. I told my dad later that it felt like Mongi and I were just going to a basketball game with College friends. I hardly even realized we had a two year old and a four month old along with us. I hardly felt like I was tagging along with my older sister and her family. I think maybe that is what love is, when babies feel like close friends and not just burdens. (That may sound rough but you know you have all thought it in your babysitting years right?)
~At Nelleke and Mike’s house we had a Christmas eve/Grandpa Rick’s Birthday dinner. They made absolutely delicious savory crepes. I could go on and on about the yummy crepes but that wasn’t what made this night so special. The most wonderful thing about it was to be sitting in a cheery Christmas beautifully lit room with so many of the people that I love. We had great conversation. I felt, and feel, so blessed to have a family that loves and appreciates each other so much.
~Another favorite time of mine was with Mongi at Xan and Kevin’s house. One of the first days of vacation we sat near the Christmas tree and drank tea. We didn’t talk about anything very noteworthy (to be honest I don’t even remember what we talked about) but I do know that after this sitting around the tree tea time, I felt like Christmas time had finally begun for me. I could start enjoying the season.
~The most relaxing and rejuvenating moments of my vacation happened and my father’s house. We saw two movies, did a jig-saw puzzle, and had one of my favorite meals, ENCHILADAS! It was wonderful to just completely shut off my mind and enjoy being free of responsibilities.
~The most inspiring moment of my whole vacation was being at my mama’s ordination. Wow! I didn’t know it was possible to have so many smiling people on one altar! The joy and delight in the room still chokes me up just thinking about it. It felt as if we all knew this should be happening and we were all so glad it was. I’m so proud of my mom and apparently so are a lot of other people. It was great to meet so many people at St. Paul’s that love her. I felt like a celebrity just being her daughter. She is in a great place, and they are lucky to have her.
These are only a few of the special moments I will not forget of this year’s Christmas. (Especially now that I documented them  ) I was able to see Tara and Audra also which was a great gift also! Thank you family and friends for being a part of these moments!


  1. I am sorry to have missed the Michigan celebrations, but so deeply grateful for the family time and the opportunity for you to meet the people I have come to love here in CT. I am also extremely grateful for the Good News you heard in Beth's sermon.... Bethlehem.... so many places! God bless you, Hannah, as you continue to bless me. Your mama

  2. Hi, Hannah! Sounds like your Christmas was pretty much PERFECT. How many things can you actually say THAT about??? I always like to think about celebrating Christmas 365 days a year. Based on the things that made your Christmas experience real and meaningful, we really CAN! Have an awesome second half in Honduras!!!...Em's Dad.